Tuesday, 5 June 2012
: Last year's runner-up Strong Return went one better when drew away in the last strides to capture the G1 Yasuda Kinen in Toyko on Sunday in record time.
The six-year-old ran the mile in 1:31.3 to capture his first G1 title and seventh career win ater being sidelined with a fractured foreleg last autumn.
He had resumed with a fourth in the G1 Keio Hai Spring Cup last month and gave his trainer Nobuyuki Hori his second consecutive Yasuda Kinen victory after his stablemate Real Impact took home the title last year.
His jockey Yuichi Fukunaga's landed his first G1 title this season and made it 16 career G1 wins overall. The Hori-Fukunaga pair topped off their jubilant day by also capturing the G3 Unicorn Stakes.
Strong Return beat the veteran two-time G1 mile champion Grand Prix Boss while race favorite Sadamu Patek finished ninth. The Hong Kong pair Lucky Nine and Glorious Day faild to figure in the finish.
Brett Prebble reserved Lucky Nine near the rail in sixth to seventh while Douglas Whyte on Glorious Days took a wide trip behind Strong Return.
Grand Prix Boss and Strong Return were both late making the final turn before they easily picked off the tiring leaders at the furlong pole.
The pair battled it out until Strong Return finally wore down Grand Prix Boss in the final strides to prevail by a neck, with Cosmo Sensor, who also overtook the frontrunners at the furlong poley, two lengths back in third.
Lucky Nine, turning for home in sixth and within easy striking distance, had nothing left and finished 11th.
After the race, jockey Brett Prebble commented, “I was able to place him in a good position and he was traveling well. He gave a short burst in the straight which died quickly. Maybe the long season caught up with him.”
Trainer Caspar Fownes also noted “He was in a good position and he ran well until perhaps the last 150 meters where he was a bit wanting.
"It's a tough race to come out to because it's the end of our season and he's been out for a long time. He'll have a well-deserved break now and I will absolutely bring him back for the Sprinters Stakes because he'll be a fresh horse then.”
Unable to keep with the strong pace, Glorious Days entered the lane near the rear and never reached contention for a disappointing 14th.
Douglas Whyte stated afterwards, “The horse was immature coming into the race. Everything was totally new to this inexperienced horse and while I tried to urge him forward to around fifth or sixth position, he just didn't travel.
"He will improve from this experience.”
Check out FREE Full Race results
for nine separate countries.